Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Unmistakable, Over-Powering Smell of Bleach

Not ever wanting to re-visit the world of surgical procedures again, we, my brother, my mom and myself, found ourselves doing just that. Dad needed surgery. We're thinking of having a zipper installed on him, that way the surgeons can just un-zip him when they need to get in there. Our last experience at the world renowned Cleveland hospital took us three months to get dad out, after a raging infection struck. This is why mom decided to take matters into her own hands.
The hospital takes the families of the patient every step of the way through surgery. They even give you one of those pager thingamabobs that you get at Red Lobster while waiting for a table. It's really quite remarkable, we got to dads room before he did. The nurse told us, "He'll be up soon, we're just getting his paper work finished. You can wait in the room if you'd like, there's no room-mate yet."
"Yes, yes, we'll wait in his room." And mom ushered us in.
I'm usually pretty sharp but after meandering from one waiting room to the next all day and eating cafeteria food, I didn't pick up on the weird vibe coming from mom until it was too late. She had us in the room. My brother was oblivious to what was about to happen until mom said to him, "You, you watch the door."
"Oh, you're really going to do this."

Mom told me of a plan she devised before the surgery, 'We're going to clean everything is his room with bleach so he doesn't get another infection.' 'You're going to take bleach to the hospital mom?' 'I'm going to soak rags in bleach, put them in a zip-lock bag and keep them in my purse.'

Much to the surprise of my brother and me, mom produced a zip-lock bag from her purse with bleach soaked rags. For a brief moment I locked eyes with my brother. An unspoken conversation started to take place when the room filled with the unmistakable, over-powering smell of bleach. I glanced at the door with a grin and nodded him to it. Our look-out was in place and grinning from ear to ear.
I've seen enough TV to know we had to work fast. "There's a box of rubber gloves, put some on and give me a pair." Mom was issuing orders. "They might clean the surfaces, but they never clean under, get under everything. Get that phone and his call bell. How's the door?"
"You're good."
While feverishly wiping down dad's hospital room with my brother as the look-out, mom said to me, "You're going to put this in your blog aren't you?"
"I don't see how I can't."
When mom was satisfied the the room was clean, I took off my rubber gloves, "Put those in this zip-lock."
Oh, apparently mom's seen enough TV too and knows you have to take the evidence with you, I did as I was told.
Dad was out of the hospital the next day, mission accomplished.
Mom told us kids of hers, on our way home that night and this is not verbatim, but it's something that will stick with me forever. Although she hates having dad in the hospital, one good thing comes out of it, she gets to have her two kids all to herself, just us room cleaning criminals.


Rebecca said...

THAT is HILARIOUS!!! Great story, and I will probably remember it forever. And I'll be sure to do it myself, should a hospital day ever come. Too bad the hospital cleaners don't do it themselves. :-p

Thanks for the story.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame your mom. It seems like sometimes you go out sicker than when you go in...that is, if you're lucky enough to go out. ;)

Karen said...

I don't blame your mother one bit! Staph is going around really bad. It is scary. Kudos to her!

Chris C said...

you might be onto something with the zipper idea. :)

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

That is priceless! And probably a darn good idea.

Sue said...

Everyone is sticking up for my mom! But that's a good thing, we don't want to go through what we went through 3 years ago. It was so damn funny though. She cracks me up.

ettarose said...

Sue, great story. I do not blame her one bit. I personally would not have cared if the hospital did see me do it.

Kathy at The Junk Drawer said...

I don't blame her one bit. We've all read the studies that you can catch so much entering the hospital that you didn't have when you were admitted. She should hire herself out.

Anonymous said...

Great Story!!!
I thought the brother was awesome!